Missouri School of Journalism receives reaccreditation with high praise

University of Missouri seal on the wall of Gannet Hall, Missouri School of Journalism

The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications unanimously voted to reaccredit the Missouri School of Journalism at their May 2024 meeting in Washington, D.C. 

The School was found to be in full compliance with all eight standards at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, reaffirming its status as one of a handful of schools continuously accredited since the late 1940s. Only 119 journalism and mass communication programs in the U.S. hold this accreditation.

“This reaccreditation highlights our unwavering commitment to excellence in journalism education,” said David Kurpius, Dean of the School of Journalism. “Our faculty and staff are dedicated to preparing students to thrive in a rapidly evolving media landscape through innovative and top-tier educational practices.”

The accreditation process includes a comprehensive self-study, a site visit by educators and professionals, a recommendation by the national accrediting committee, and a final vote by the Accrediting Council. 

“Students have unparalleled opportunities to learn in a professional atmosphere, supported by working professionals, faculty, and staff. The list of achievements is almost unending.”

Report of ACEJMC Evaluation

Lynda Kraxberger, associate dean for undergraduate studies, spearheaded the School’s preparation of the self-study and coordinated the visit of the on-site accrediting team.

“It is deeply satisfying to hear such positive comments from the Accrediting Council. They confirm what we learned from the year-long self-study. The School of Journalism provides students with a world class education,” said Kraxberger. “Through our faculty and staff,  we continue to evolve and grow to meet the journalism and strategic communication needs of our complicated and changing society.”

The accrediting team highlighted several strengths of the Missouri School of Journalism:

  • Strong and dynamic leadership that is pushing an excellent school to even greater heights.
  • Innovative curriculum that implements the “Missouri Method” of journalism education, adapting to the changing media environment.
  • Dedicated faculty of professionals and scholars who prioritize collaboration.
  • Significant endowment and robust fundraising efforts that support new initiatives and faculty salaries.

The 70-page accreditation report praised the school’s renowned hands-on teaching, commonly referred to as the “Missouri Method,” which immerses students in real-world print/digital news, TV news, and strategic communication work. This approach ensures students are well-prepared for professional careers. 

“Students have unparalleled opportunities to learn in a professional atmosphere, supported by working professionals, faculty, and staff,” the report noted. “The list of achievements is almost unending.”

Students interviewed by the accreditation team unanimously praised the Missouri Method and the opportunities it provides.

“It isn’t a stretch to suggest the Missouri School of Journalism has never been stronger with more to come.”

Report of ACEJMC Evaluation

According to the accreditation team, “Students discussed being chosen for professional internships based on their resumes after just their freshman or sophomore years, often over graduates of other universities.”

Since the last accreditation in 2017, the School has overhauled its curriculum to simplify and make it more flexible for students. The committee noted that these changes, along with the School’s study-away opportunities, offer students even more professional experiences. “This flexibility allows students to pursue courses that build skills across platforms and professional areas.”

The report also highlighted the School’s robust system of student services, combining in-person and online assistance for advising. “The extracurricular and professional opportunities available to students are truly impressive and woven expertly into the curriculum. These professional opportunities set the School of Journalism apart from many other programs.”

A summary statement in the team’s report noted: “The School of Journalism at Missouri is a shining example of outstanding preparation of students to be successful practitioners in journalism and strategic communication. The Missouri Method remains a unique hands-on experience for students working side-by-side with professionals in all our disciplines. The Columbia Missourian, produced by the school, has become the paper of record in town. The side-by-side work with professionals at the local NBC affiliate (owned by the university) makes J-School students highly sought out by industry. The school is constantly updating its curriculum with cutting-edge thinkers and is led by a dynamic dean and an accomplished leadership team. It isn’t a stretch to suggest the Missouri School of Journalism has never been stronger with more to come.”

Updated: July 3, 2024

Related Stories

Expand All Collapse All